Image courtesy of: The Mirror
“He is a good player and a tough individual but the best thing for him to do would be to take a leaf out of David Warner’s book and just play with it”
Former England captain David Gower believes pace bowler Stuart Broad has a chance to win the hearts of the Australian fans when the national team travel to the Land Down Under in November if he follows the lead of Australia’s opening batsman David Warner.
Broad received a lot of criticism from Australian fans and former players for not walking when he clearly edged a delivery to the slips during the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.
Broad’s decision not to walk infuriated Australia coach Darren Lehmann, who during the final Test, launched an unbelievable verbal assault on the 27-year-old pace bowler.
Lehmann called on the Australian fans to “get stuck into” Broad with hopes that he “cries and goes home”.
However, Gower believes that Broad can actually become a crowd favourite like Warner did following his bar brawl with England batsman Joe Root during the Champions Trophy in June.
“It will be interesting to see how it does work,” Gower said. “He (Broad) might have a tough time to start with. Not everyone will be as crass as to just pick up on those words the other day and make life hard for him all the time.
“He is a good player and a tough individual but the best thing for him to do would be to take a leaf out of David Warner’s book and just play with it. If you go down there and you are expecting to cop a bit, and whether or not Lehmann said what he said, they would cop it anyway because it is the nature of the beast.
“But if you can run with it and smile with it to win people over and perform well it would sort out any situation.”
Gower added that in order to earn the respect of the Australian fans during his playing days, he had to put his money where his mouth was, which he did as five of his 15 Test centuries came in Australia.
“I did well down there and that is the key,” he said. “If you do well they will respect you. I loved playing in Australia because they are good crowds.
“The initial thing is that Australian crowds want Australia to win as English crowds want England to win and there are always the elements within those respective crowds that may take it too far. But the great bulk of the cricket-loving public in both countries appreciate skill.
“When you go down to Australia they don’t want you to win but if you perform well and do it with a certain style they will understand that and appreciate that. The best way to cope with the feeling that you might be in hostile territory is to play well and then you will find very quickly there are some very good people down there that really understand the game and they will applaud it.”